Conservative Golf Strategy - What To Consider?Sep 21, 2022
There are many strategies that a player can adopt on the golf course. For example, you might decide to go gung-ho, throw caution to the wind and go for everything, fly it over the hazards, take on the water, attack every pin, etc, etc. Alternatively, you might look to take a more measured approach, and that’s what we’re going to look at here. The conservative golf strategy.
What is a conservative golf strategy?
The first thing about conservative golf, or becoming a more conservative golfer is accepting that you’re not perfect. Whether you’re a high-handicapper or a scratch golfer, your game isn’t perfect, and it never will be. You will make mistakes. Once you know this you can factor it into your approach, which will allow you to set up in a way that helps minimise mistakes, as well as leave yourself room for error.
Essentially, conservative golf is where you play realistic shots and a smart golf overall. You actively look to avoid the hazards, you aim for the largest targets, the safest parts of the green. You don’t look to do anything overly daring or exciting, you simply play sensible, steady shots and score accordingly.
Elements of a conservative golf strategy
Most golfers only think about the shot they’re about to hit, whereas a skilled conservative golfer will think about the shots to come. So, if you’re weighing up what to do off the tee, think about the second shot, and then think about the third shot. Think about where you want to be hitting each of those shots from to give yourself the best chance of success, and then play your tee shot accordingly.
Get the ball in play
Hit the ball where you’re always likely to stay in play. For example, if there’s out-of-bounds up the right hand side of the fairway, play cautious and look to hit a steady drive up the left hand side. Give yourself more room for error and try to keep your ball in the fairway. Even if you don’t end up ideally positioned, it’s better to hit from the left rough than incur a penalty, so be sensible and keep the ball in play.
Aim for the biggest targets
The saying goes “aggressive targets, conservative swings”, and you can have aggressive targets, which in golf are often referred to as smaller targets, even if you’re adopting a conservative approach, but make these smaller targets within a safe area.
For example, if you’re playing an approach shot into a green where the pin is positioned close to the left edge, and there’s a steep run-off area, pick a target that’s on a safe part of the green. E.g.the largest part of the green to the right of the pin. This way, you’re less likely to miss and end up in a position where you’ll have very little green to work with.
Why should you consider a conservative golf strategy?
There are several benefits to adopting a conservative golf strategy, and perhaps the biggest, certainly for an amateur, is the removal of lots of stress. Everyone plays better golf when they’re not cursing lost balls and ruing seemingly endless mistakes, and by playing conservatively, lots of those mistakes can be eliminated, resulting in less stress.
Another obvious benefit of taking the conservative route is that you’ll likely be in better positions to achieve more consistent scores, and better scores is what the vast majority of golfers crave. You should also consider putting into practice a more conservative golf strategy as it promotes thinking about the game more, and those golfers who think about the way they’re playing, those who plan shots and think tactically, tend to do better than those who do not.
Last but not least, a conservative golf strategy can allow even the most nervous player to play with more confidence, and that’s because a conservative golf focuses largely on taking the safe, sensible option and when you’re hitting such shots, it’s much easier to do so with full confidence than if you’re taking a big risk.